Pereira’s attack on legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide: smoke and mirrors

J. Downie, K. Chambaere, J.L. Bernheim

Abstract


Objective

To review the empirical claims made in: Pereira J. Legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide: the illusion of safeguards and controls. Curr Oncol 2011;18:e38–45.

 

Design

We collected all of the empirical claims made by Jose Pereira in “Legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide: the illusion of safeguards and controls.” We then collected all reference sources provided for those claims. We compared the claims with the sources (where sources were provided) and evaluated the level of support, if any, the sources provide for the claims. We also reviewed other available literature to assess the veracity of the empirical claims made in the paper. We then wrote the present paper using examples from the review.

 

Results

Pereira makes a number of factual statements without providing any sources. Pereira also makes a number of factual statements with sources, where the sources do not, in fact, provide support for the statements he made. Pereira also makes a number of false statements about the law and practice in jurisdictions that have legalized euthanasia or assisted suicide.

Conclusions

Pereira’s conclusions are not supported by the evidence he provided. His paper should not be given any credence in the public policy debate about the legal status of assisted suicide and euthanasia in Canada and around the world.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3747/co.19.1063

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ISSN: 1198-0052 (Print) ISSN: 1718-7729 (Online)